April 11, 2012
Patriot League Softball Release - 4.13.12
Center Valley, Pa. -- The Patriot League softball schedule hits the midway point this weekend, and two teams at the top of the standings are already trying to punch their tickets to the postseason.
Lehigh (8-0) and Colgate (7-1) have taken the lead through the first two weekends. The Mountain Hawks have posted four-game sweeps of Lafayette and Bucknell by a combined score of 69-4, while the Raiders won three of four games at home against Army last weekend to claim sole possession of second place over the Black Knights.
Each squad heads on the road this weekend, with Lehigh paying a visit to Holy Cross and Colgate going to Lafayette. A four-game sweep would seal Lehigh's berth into the postseason, while the Raiders can also make it with a winning weekend and some help.
The weekend schedule also includes Army heading to Bucknell for a four-game set, with the Black Knights also having an outside shot to clinch a playoff berth this weekend. Lehigh, Colgate and Army are a combined 16-0 against Lafayette, Holy Cross and Bucknell heading into the weekend series on the road.
Five of the six teams played a weekday tune-up series before getting back to Patriot League action over the weekend. Lafayette was swept in a doubleheader against St. Joseph's on Tuesday, while Lehigh split with Hofstra on Wednesday in a matchup of top teams in the Northeast region.
On Thursday, Holy Cross swept Hartford at home while Colgate split with Siena and Bucknell was swept by Marist.
Patriot League Notebook
Lehigh Cruising in Patriot League Play
Lehigh was picked as the preseason favorite in Patriot League softball, and the Mountain Hawks have shown why through the first two series. Lehigh has outscored Lafayette and Bucknell by a combined 69-4 through the first eight Patriot League contests. The Mountain Hawks invoked the run rule to win all four games over the Bison in five innings last weekend. Lehigh is batting .429 as a team while holding a 0.61 ERA in Patriot League games.
Mountain Hawk Trio Moving up Patriot League Record Book
A veteran Lehigh team has three senior standouts that are in line to go down among the greats in the Patriot League record book. First baseman Julie Fernandez stands fourth in Patriot League history in batting average (.402) and hits (239), and her 54 career doubles are two off the League record. She also entered the top 10 in RBIs (120) over the weekend. Shortstop Jen Colquhoun is enjoying a huge senior season and now ranks eighth in career home runs (21) and fourth in RBIs (133). Colquhoun's 12 home runs this season are just four off the Patriot League record, and she tied a League mark with her third Player of the Week award of the year on Monday. Last but not least, outfielder Audra Wood stands second in Patriot League history in runs (153) and fourth in stolen bases (62). She is just 18 runs and 15 steals from Patriot League career records.
Fernandez Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Lehigh softball senior Julie Fernandez has been named one of ten finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, it was announced Wednesday. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help determine the winner, which will be announced at the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the award honors senior student-athletes, who excel in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. Fernandez is one of ten finalists, along with standouts from softball powers such as California, Arizona State, Stanford, Florida, Alabama and Washington. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through May 14.
Army's Lashley Ready to Shatter Single-Season Marks
Army freshman Morgan Lashley continues to carry the load on the mound for the Black Knights, and she can break Patriot League single-season records as soon as this weekend. With 36 appearances and 31 starts for the season, Lashley is just three away from Patriot League single-season marks. Army's Veronica Berth had 39 appearances in 2006, while Colgate's Tara McGoff made 34 starts in 1999. Lashley's 198.0 innings pitched are just 33 away from the mark McGoff set in 1999, and her 18 victories are eight from the single-season record set by Lehigh's Lisa Sweeney in 2006 and 2008.
Lafayette's Robinson Carrying Workload, Too
Lafayette's Melissa Robinson has not seen the same innings count as Lashley throughout the season, but the sophomore carried the load in Patriot League play last weekend. Robinson started all four games for the Leopards against Holy Cross, and came up huge in the final three contests. She earned three wins by allowing just one run in each of her complete-game efforts, including a 2-1 victory in eight innings of Sunday's opener. Robinson was 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA in six starts last week, and allowed only six runs in 28 innings against the Crusaders.
Lehigh and Colgate Prefer a Pair
While Army and Lafayette have one standout pitcher, Lehigh and Colgate each have a pair to throw at opponents. Lehigh freshman Emily Bausher leads the Patriot League with a 1.42 ERA for the year, while teammate junior Rebecca Bliss comes in just behind with a 1.95 ERA. Bausher has not allowed a run in 19 innings in Patriot League play, while Bliss has a 1.22 ERA in League action. Colgate's duo of Rachel LeCoq and Courtney O'Connell has been nearly as stout in League play. LeCoq is 4-0 with a 1.22 ERA, while O'Connell holds a 3-1 record with a 1.86 ERA in League action.
Another Patriot Leaguer Takes ECAC Honors
Army senior Alexis AuBuchon was named ECAC Player of the Week last week after receiving the same honor from the Patriot League. She batted .684 while notching 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored in a perfect 6-0 week for the Black Knights. It is the third ECAC weekly honor for a Patriot Leaguer this season, as Lehigh's Jen Colquhoun (Player of the Week) and Rebecca Bliss (Pitcher of the Week) were selected by the organization earlier in the year.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (April 2-8)
Player of the Week
JEN COLQUHOUN, LEHIGH Sr., SS, Oak Park, Calif.
Colquhoun had another huge week to lead the Mountain Hawks to their second consecutive four-game Patriot League sweep. She batted .500 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored in a 5-1 week for Lehigh, and went 6-of-10 with two home runs, nine RBIs and six runs scored as Lehigh outscored Bucknell 34-0 in four games over the weekend. She hit a three-run and two-run home run in consecutive at-bats in the series finale. Colquhoun is batting .591 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in League action as the Mountain Hawks are off to an 8-0 start. Her 12 home runs are sixth on the Patriot League single-season leaderboard and one off the Lehigh record. Colquhoun is up to 21 career home runs, just two shy of the Lehigh record and in the Patriot League top 10. Colquhoun is named Patriot League Player of the Week for the third time this year, tying six other players for the most in a single season in League history.
Pitcher of the Week
RACHEL LeCOQ, COLGATE So. P, Gonzales, La.
LeCoq hurled a pair of gems to help Colgate win three of four games against Army and take over second place at 7-1 in the Patriot League. She tossed a pair of complete games, allowing just one run on three hits with seven strikeouts in a 4-1 win on Saturday before pitching a shutout with six hits and seven strikeouts in a 7-0 triumph on Sunday. LeCoq pitched 17.1 innings in four games for the Raiders last week, allowing only two runs while striking out 15 and posting a 2-0 record in her action. The victory over Army on Sunday gave LeCoq a 4-0 mark in Patriot League play. She is named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the first time this season and fourth in her career.
Rookie of the Week
EMILY BAUSHER, LEHIGH Fr., P/UT, New Egypt, N.J.
Bausher continues her run of Patriot League Rookie of the Week awards, receiving the honor for the fourth straight time and fifth this season. She was outstanding in two Patriot League starts, pitching eight scoreless innings against Bucknell while allowing three hits and striking out seven to pick up a pair of victories. Bausher went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three appearances for the week and finished with 11 strikeouts while not issuing any walks. She has not allowed a run in 19 innings during Patriot League games, with just seven hits allowed and 25 strikeouts in that span. Bausher also contributed with her bat by going 4-for-7 with three RBIs at the plate last week.
STEPHANIE HARTQUIST, COLGATE Sr., 3B, Homer, N.Y.
Hartquist had three home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored as Colgate won three of four games against Army over the weekend.
REBECCA BLISS, LEHIGH Jr., P, Escondido, Calif.
Bliss allowed just one earned run in 16 innings on the mound last week, going 3-0 with a win over Rider and two victories with nine shutout innings against Bucknell.
GWEN TURNER, LAFAYETTE Sr., OF, Danville, Va./Dan River
Turner batted .583 (14-of-24) with six runs scored and four RBIs in a 4-3 week for the Leopards.
MELISSA ROBINSON, LAFAYETTE So., P, Philadelphia, Pa./St. Hubert
Robinson started six of Lafayette's seven games last week, going 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA. She won the final three games against Holy Cross, allowing just three runs in 22 innings combined in that span.